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BADFNZ

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BADFNZ last won the day on April 11

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  1. I said it a couple months ago and I'll say it again: Once you separate and go through the VA disability process, you can do damn near the bare minimum and easily end up with 40-50% disability. That's $1000-$1300 a month, tax free depending on how many parents and kids you have. The bonus is $35K/yr taxed, which depending on your bracket, will probably come out to roughly $2000 a month. So handing your balls back to Big Blue for 3/5/8 years will net you roughly $1000 per month over just getting VA disability. This doesn't even account for the piles of money you'll be making at your major of choosing if you separate. Bottom line at bottom: taking the bonus will be the worst financial decision you'll ever make. You'd be financially better off buying a boat, airplane, and a 2nd wife. If you love your job and want to continue to serve, I respect you. But don't, for one second, think it's a good financial move to take the bonus.
  2. Opinions may differ, but imo, the hardest part of flying as a brand new FO are taxi instructions at a big airport. Something we obviously don't get much practice at in the AF. My very first leg of IOE was into LAX at night. After taxing clear, something like this went down: ATC: "SWA69, turn right on H-6, cross 25R at J, then the North route to checkpoint 1." Me, still 20 miles back wondering how we got here:
  3. Um what? I separated after my UPT ADSC and am currently collecting $1400/mo (~$17,000/yr) tax free for VA disability, something you can't do while on AD. So in a sense, I'm collecting almost as much as I would if I would have taken the bonus. I'm not sure how that would have swayed you even more to stay in AD, because to me that sounds like even more reason to punch.
  4. I've said it before in this thread, but when you know where you want to live, you have to compare the airlines based on that domicile alone. Sure, the upgrade at AA might be 4 years if you want LGA, but it might be 8 years at PHX (I'm making up numbers but you get the point). Also, people say all you'll fly at SWA is a 737, but PHX is a A320 only base for AA, so there goes all the WB int'l that might sway you to AA. I work at SWA, but I'm not a SWA cheerleader by any means. We have our issues like anyone else, and I've really soured on this company in the last year. But make sure you're comparing apples to apples.
  5. Supposedly the record for TFP (hours, kinda) in a month was smashed last month at SWA. Dude somehow earned 500 TFP bidding on everything he was legal for in Open Time, and since all OT trips were double pay last month, he earned roughly $123,000. He could basically take the next 11 months off and earn as much as a 12-year Major does in a year. Good luck to those sticking around!
  6. He's a twice passed over nav that has no identity to latch onto but his military service. He can't just punch at the first chance like most of us to go to a more lucrative job where we can make decisions on our own. Of course he's going to die on the vaccination hill because if he wasn't vaccinated, he wouldn't have a paycheck. You can keep feeding the troll or just pat the nav on the head and smile and nod.
  7. Because things change? You don't know his life situation nor anyone else's. If he hasn't even used the benefit, where's the harm in letting him out of it?
  8. 800 pax (I'm sure many without IDs) all trying to clear customs at the Died? Cue the Benny Hill theme!
  9. Your #3 needs to be your #1. Seriously. This is a different job when you commute. The biggest foot stomp advice I got as a wee lad thinking about applying to airlines was "Don't commute!" As someone who lives in base but isn't senior enough to hold it, I can tell you my morale and will to live is completely different on trips that I commute on versus trips I pick up here in base. Things to consider when commuting: 1. Making sure there are flights that have empty seats to get you to your base 2. Booking at least 1 hotel per trip, maybe 2 if you get delayed or extended 3. Packing an extra pair of clothes for an extra night. This seems trivial but it makes a difference when I'm trying to shoehorn all my shit into my 737 approved roller bag. 4. If you have a late start to a trip, do you commute the morning of or the night prior? Spending all morning commuting just to start your pairing later in the day is probably the biggest kick to the crotch there is. If you commute the night prior, there's an extra hotel you have to pay for. 5. Weather delays or diverts. They happen often. So when you divert to Burnt Scrotum, NM as a commuter, it's on you to get home. As a non-rev passenger you're the lowest man on the give-a-shit scale for the airline. 6. Running through the terminal to catch the last flight home, only to watch it push back. This is my favorite. The list goes on. There are 6900 different factors to base your airline decision on, but if you know where you want to live, pick the airline with a base there. Upgrades, money, time off, etc all mean jack shit if you're commuting. Just my opinion.
  10. I'm no SWA sunshine pumper, but this is all a bit of hyperbole. 1. 73 for the rest of your life? "Like anyone can even know that." We have no idea what's going on tomorrow in this company, so it's a pretty bold statement that we'll be flying the 73 for the next 30 years (assuming you're ~35 years old now). I'd put a round of Boilermakers on us having a different airplane in the fleet in the next 30 years. 2. Multi-leg days? Sure. I don't know many guys/gals that do 1 leg a day, no matter the airline. And if you do, it's probably a long leg. I'd guess the duty days are about the same. Give me three 1.5 hour legs over one 7 hour leg, but that's just me. I've had plenty of trips with only one leg in a day. 3. Same towns? Doesn't every airline fly to the same towns? We have ~120 destinations and no one has added more in the past year than we have. If you think SWA isn't going to grow even more in the future than I don't know what to tell you. When looking at seniority, it really means jack shit if you can't hold the base you want to hold. Looking at retirements only tells part of the story. Can you upgrade faster at AA vs. SW? More than likely. But I'm assuming you'll be stuck in NY or MIA or whatever the junior CA bases are at AA. Just like you'll be stuck at OAK or LAX if you upgrade at SW. SWA isn't a bad place to work. Yes, it's all narrow body flying and that's not for everyone, but as a Herk guy who has a 3.0 ass, it's just like flying in the desert. Except no one is shooting at you and the loadmasters look better (sometimes). Only having one aircraft in the fleet is good and bad. As previously stated, if you want to fly something else, you can't (for now). At the same time, if I want to trade away a trip, I have roughly 4500 other FOs as trade partners. I can pick up extra flying as a reserve holder and even trade my reserve for a trip if someone is willing (supposedly most airlines don't have this option). 99% of the CAs I've flown with have been really great dudes that generally don't give a shit about how you fly as long as you get us there safely. On the other hand, the ra-ra OnE LuV shit is wearing off. We're all "one team, one heart" until they threaten furloughs 2 weeks before Christmas, knowing they had no intentions of actually following through with them. One thing that came out of it is our pilot group and Union are stronger than ever (this coming from the mouths of the old guys). The company thinks pilots will choose to come here versus others because we treat our pilots better and "we've never furloughed!" but that's all now bullshit. We get paid less per hour and we generally work harder. I'd advise anyone to do homework and pick an airline that fits your lifestyle. Also look at seniority at your desired base, not just company wide.
  11. My favorite memory from Bagram is the one where I was laying in bed after a 16-hour duty day and our 5th IDF alarm of the night went off and I thought "Fuck this, I'm going to the airlines".
  12. Spot on. I was a FAIP and was lucky enough to get my first choice out of my FAIP drop. I can't tell you how many of my former students were in my new ops squadron when I showed up. And guess who my IPs were during my upgrades? Those same former students. The same little shits that couldn't start a T-6 in less than 30 minutes in the 110 degree Del Rio heat, those were the dudes teaching me how to employ my MWS. To answer the career question: it won't affect you negatively one bit. I actually think it helped me. When I showed up to my ops squadron, I had immediate credibility because a) my former studs vouched that I wasn't a douche and b) I already had 1000 IP hours and that means something (granted this was in AMC, so YMMV in the CAF). I was fast-tracked to upgrade and generally wasn't treated like a 5-yr old like most other co-pilots. And the best part of it all was because I had all the IP hours and upgraded early to IP, I had a fuck ton of PIC hours which made my highly-anticipated move to the airlines just that much easier. No ragrets!
  13. Hold up. So reserve pilots not currently sitting reserve can't pick up premium as extra fly? Ouch.
  14. Keep in mind the beauty of the airline life is you can generally work as much or as little as you want. I tend to give away a lot of my trips and work far less than most of my bros. But let's say for one month I want to work my ass off just to make up some of the difference. Here at SWA I can easily pick up extra trips and make over $20K a month as a 2nd year FO if I play my cards right. Then go right back to sitting on my ass and not thinking about an airplane until a few weeks later. And to hit on an earlier subject, as a SWA PMer, I'd say we go out as a crew (pilots and FAs) about 98.69% of the time. The only time it doesn't happen is if the FAs have an early show and want to get some sleep. They don't have the same crew rest requirements so they get hosed sometimes when it comes to ground time.
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